As governments meet in London today to discuss whether the high seas should be used for largescale iron dumping by companies promising a quick-fix for climate change, one private company is rushing ahead with a new ocean dumping scheme in Southeast Asia – this time with urea. Civil society groups have learned that Ocean Nourishment Corporation (ONC) of Sydney, Australia has been given a “go signal” by the Philippines government to experimentally dump hundreds of tonnes of industrially-produced urea, most likely into the Sulu Sea between Philippines and Borneo.
A coalition of international civil society groups today called on the governments of the London Convention – the UN body established to prevent marine dumping – to stop ONC from undertaking experimental ocean dumping of urea. The coalition is also calling for a moratorium on large scale and commercial geoengineering projects until there is public debate, intergovernmental oversight and thorough assessment of social, economic and environmental impacts.
“The global South is once again a dumping ground for risky technologies – this time our oceans are being threatened by high-risk geoengineering schemes that are rushing forward without public consultation or intergovernmental oversight,” said Neth Dano of Malaysia-based Third World Network. “A few months ago we learned that Planktos, Inc. wants to dump iron particles in the ocean near the Galapagos – now Southeast Asian coastal waters are the target for experimental urea dumping. It’s disgraceful that carbon-trading profiteers are marketing these experiments as humanitarian projects to feed hungry people and arrest climate change,” said Dano.